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News story

Edge Hill University reaches top 30 for improving student social mobility

October 20, 2023

Edge Hill University has reached the top 30 in a higher education index focusing on student social mobility.

The University was listed 28th out of 101 English universities by independent sector think tank HEPI (Higher Education Policy Institute).

The placing recognises Edge Hill’s ongoing commitment to delivering opportunity for all. It reflects a passion for reaching people from a wide range of backgrounds, providing them with an excellent university education and the skills to acquire highly skilled employment.

Vice-Chancellor Dr John Cater said: “Improving the lives of our students through the power of education is our core mission.

“We believe in the genuinely transformative effect of education and we are committed to widening access by reaching people from different social groups who might not otherwise consider going to university.”

More than 70% of Edge Hill’s undergraduate students are from widening participation groups – including students who have been eligible for free school meals, first generation students, Care Experienced and Estranged Students (CEES), students with caring responsibilities or disabilities and students from minority ethnic groups or who have refugee status – who are typically underrepresented within higher education.

Initiatives to encourage wider access include:

  • A dedicated Widening Access and Participation Team, which supports students to succeed while studying and beyond and has set up award-winning student advisory panels to give a voice to students with a variety of lived experiences.
  • The Medical School’s Foundation Year programme allows students whose background may mean they are less likely to meet the academic requirements for direct entry to study medicine, and the School’s summer scheme encourages 16 and 17-year-olds from diverse backgrounds to consider a career in medicine.
  • The Fastrack programme prepares students for progression to degree level study when they do not have the required qualifications.
  • Edge Hill’s Careers Team offers additional personalised support to students from non-traditional backgrounds and won an Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Award in 2022 for their involvement with the RE:Action 24/7 social mobility programme to help boost career opportunities for students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

Student Claire Beerjeraz, a member of the Black Asian and Minority Ethnic student advisory panel, welcomed the news of Edge Hill’s success in aiding student social mobility.

She said: “Initiatives like the student advisory panels show how staff at Edge Hill are genuinely passionate about improving the experience of students from a diverse mix of backgrounds and opening up opportunities for us after we graduate.

“We need to continue to build on the legacy of these panels to ensure students remain engaged and are able to reach and achieve in higher education and beyond.”

HEPI’s English Social Mobility Index measures the social distance travelled by students, exploring access to higher education, progress through studies and graduate outcomes.

To discover more about courses at Edge Hill, please visit   

October 20, 2023


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